April 29, 2007
Today started off with toast for breakfast made on an open coal fire! The weather was sunny again and a little warmer. The bands were quieter this morning but plenty of UK contacts made and the 20 metre station has been busy all day with both Stateside and EU contacts. We are now packing the stations down and will look at detail in the logs tomorrow....
A good weekend!!
April 28, 2007
It was about 11.00am this morning when both stations were finally up and running together. It has been a busy day with loads of visitors coming to see what it was all about, both Amateur and people who had never come across our hobby before. All operators are working pileups on both stations and 40 meters has been particularly good for short skip. The local people are fantastic and spent well into the early hours of the morning with us! Today is proving to be a fantastic day and has seen some great radio, more reports tomorrow........
It was a lovely evening down at Sunderland point. The 50' mast took a bit of getting up but by about 21.00 gmt we had the dipoles out for the lower bands and both stations set up. Putting the Spiderbeam together now and looking forward to a busy day. Bex is the chef tonight so we won't go hungry.
April 25, 2007
April 09, 2007
First trials today of our prototype box kite which we will use to fly antennas for the lower HF bands. The kite you see was quickly put together using bamboo, insulation tape and polythene bags in little under an hour by Chris and Bex. It is not the most beautiful kite you will ever see but it flies and is quite capable of lifting a long wire!! More experimentation will take place over the next few weeks, perhaps with several designs, then we will decide which design suits the group best and get out and do some simple, portable radio.
April 03, 2007
The end of April will see us at Sunderland Point for a Special Event Station marking 200 years since the Abolition of Slavery. The station will be active over the weekend 28/29th April on as many bands as we can manage, conditions permitting!
Sunder or asunder means apart and when the tide comes in this tiny village, which was once a thriving port, it finds itself cut off from the mainland at Overton.
Just over a mile of single track road winding over the mud flats and sand marshes connects it to the mainland at low tide. It's hard to imagine that once ships from the West Indies and North America docked here, plying their trade in cotton, sugar and human lives as part of the infamous 18th century slave trade. But there are reminders, and most of the people who come are looking for Sambo's Grave.
Sambo (or Samboo, as the gravestone indicates) -- I don't suppose anyone knows what his name really was -- was an African and probably no more than a boy. He was a black slave who arrived at the port with his master. He was taken ill, probably with some European disease to which he had no immunity, and he died. Because he was black and not a Christian he was not buried in consecrated ground. His body was interred in land that was once behind the inn, but is now a remote spot on the windswept shore with nothing between him and the vast sea that brought him from his homeland so far away.
For a long time the grave was unmarked, until some years later a retired schoolmaster discovered the story and raised some money for a memorial. He also wrote the epitaph that now marks the grave:
And many a moonlight Elfin round him trips
Full many a Summer's Sunbeam warms the Clod
And many a teeming cloud upon him drips.
But still he sleeps -- till the awakening Sounds
Of the Archangel's Trump now life impart
Then the GREAT JUDGE his approbation founds
Not on man's COLOUR but his worth of heart.'
Now the grave is well visited and fresh flowers have always been laid by people who come from not only curiosity but maybe also a twinge of conscience that such a thing could have happened not just to 'Samboo' but to countless other humans like him.